PHOTO ESSAY: Rock Wallabies on Australia’s Magnetic Island

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Magnetic Island  Rock Wallaby1 PHOTO ESSAY: Rock Wallabies on Australias Magnetic Island

I would wager that most backpackers who visit Magnetic Island, Australia, are unaware of the super-cute rock wallabies that call the island home. Located about five miles offshore from the city of Townsville, the island is popular among budget travelers and adventurous locals alike for its evergreen-lined beaches, scenic hiking trails and laid-back atmosphere.

When you arrive at Nellie Bay, where all inbound ferries from Townsville disembark, you walk, drive or take the bus to nearby Geoffrey Bay. The adorable rock wallabies of Magnetic Island can be found hopping up and down the boulders that rise up out of the bay.

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My friend Mel and I arrived to the rocks at the far end of Geoffrey Bay thinking, at most, that we’d enjoy a nice climb up them. This little guy was waiting there to prove us wrong.

 

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I feared that he would be scared off from the mere noise of me removing my camera from my bag but in fact, he felt comfortable enough around me that I got extremely up-close and personal with him.

 

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He seemed fascinated by his new human friends, as you can see in this photo of him in a staring contest with Mel.

 

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As it turns out, he wasn’t the only rock wallaby that was on the rocks. Just moments after spotting the first little marsupial, two hopped down from higher on the boulders.

 

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As it turns out, nearly all the wallabies I would subsequently encounter were just as OK with their photos being taken as the original wallaby had been.

 

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That being said, a few of the rock wallabies stayed higher in the rocks than others, though I’m not sure if it was out of fear, camera shyness or indifference.

 

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It’s important to remember if you do come to see the rock wallabies that you shouldn’t feed them, unless you have wallaby pellets or other approved foods for the wallaby, which exclude most standard “human” food.

 

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I can’t decide whether I prefer the smaller rock wallaby or the larger grey (or even larger red!) kangaroos. Which one is your favorite spring-legged marsupial?

 

Robert Schrader
Robert Schrader is a travel writer and photographer who's been roaming the world independently since 2005, writing for publications such as "CNNGo" and "Shanghaiist" along the way. His blog, Leave Your Daily Hell, provides a mix of travel advice, destination guides and personal essays covering the more esoteric aspects of life as a traveler.
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